CWU News

CWU Prepares for the Great Washington ShakeOut October 15

What would you do if an earthquake happened right now? Would you know what three immediate actions you need to take to save your life?

“Drop! Cover! Hold on!” are what local students will learn at assemblies this week in preparation for the Great Washington ShakeOut. Faculty members from Central Washington University’s geological sciences department and the Cascades Hazard Institute will give presentations at assemblies at Ellensburg High School, Valley View Elementary, Mount Stuart Elementary, Morgan Middle School, and Lincoln Elementary.

The annual Great Washington ShakeOut is a statewide emergency preparedness drill focuses on educating people in the safest and best practices for surviving a natural disaster.

The ShakeOut Drill is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on October 15. This means that wherever you are at that moment—at home, at work, at school, anywhere—you should Drop, Cover, and Hold On as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment You should stay in this position for at least 60 seconds.

The drill emphasizes the urgent need for people, organizations, schools, communities and businesses to practice what to do to be safe and to be ready before an earthquake strikes, according to a Washington State Military Department media release. In addition, coastal communities will test their tsunami alert sirens at the same date and time using the real sound of the siren, not the Westminster Chimes that typically happen during the monthly tests.

Central will use the ShakeOut to test CWU Alert!, Central’s emergency alert system.
CWU Alert! combines the technologies of text messaging, e-mail, and telephone messages to be sent instantly to campus community subscribers whenever there is a campus emergency. CWU Alert! is immediately activated when an incident poses an imminent threat to the safety of the community.

Last year, more than a million Washingtonians participated in the Great Washington ShakeOut. For more information about the ShakeOut, go to

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,